Seduced by the Olympus E-M1X

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

I keep telling myself, and writing on this blog, that the new flagship camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M1X was not designed for me. It’s really designed for action and landscape photographers. The E-M1X is supposed to do a several things particularly well. Focus fast and quickly shoot a lot of frames which is perfect for sports and anything else with fast action. It is also very weather sealed, has killer image stabilization, a hand-held high-resolution mode, and even simulated neutral density filters that would work well for landscapes.

What do I photograph? I’ve really gravitated towards travel and street photography. That’s true whether I’m actually traveling or documenting the festivities in my home town of Austin, Texas. For that reason, I’ve been using smaller cameras to keep a lower profile. In addition to the smaller Olympus cameras, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II and PEN-F, I’ve been using the compact Canon G7X Mark II, quite a bit. I often carry all three cameras together in a compact bag.

There’s a thing I do, and maybe you do it too. I start making up stories of how wonderful it would be to have a new piece of gear. Wow, with the E-M1X, I can be out in harsh weather, without a tripod and take spectacular high-resolution landscapes, hand-held! Never mind that I’ve actually gone on only two landscape oriented photo excursions. In my defense, however, these particular E-M1X qualities also work well in the city for urban landscapes, which I do take more often.

Unfortunately, my boys are no longer playing lacrosse or rugby, which would’ve added another level of justification for a fast sports camera. But, we do have a wonderful Formula 1 track in Austin. Maybe I can pickup motorsports instead. That’ll be a perfect way to test the E-M1X’s AI based tracking system. I suppose after many years of blogging, I’ve become an expert at thinking of stories. I can probably come up with a bunch to try to justify the camera.

Finally, here’s one more narrative I’ve toyed with. I noticed that the weight of the PEN-F (427g) and the OM-D E-M5 Mark II (496g) basically equals the weight of the E-M1X (a combined 923g vs. 997g). What if I just use the E-M1X instead of bringing two Olympus bodies? I’ve even tested this by putting the E-M1X into my existing small camera bag. I had to remove some padded dividers, but it does fit.

My last “justification”, however, is not completely without merit. Recently, I’m shooting a majority of my travel photos with the compact Canon G7X Mark II — especially during my latest San Francisco trip. I use the Olympus more for special or serious photography. But for family snapshots and discreet street photography, I’ve gravitated toward the Canon. So, ironically, my increased use of the compact Canon opens up options for a beefier, more capable serious camera, such as — you guessed it — the E-M1X.

Of course, to take advantage of the beefier body, I should invest in the larger and pricier Pro lenses. If I get the 12-100mm f4, I can go up to 7 1/2 stops of image stabilization. And, the 17mm, 25mm and 45mm Pro primes certainly look enticing too. You see how this works, right? One expensive equipment upgrade has the potential to cascade into multiple expensive upgrades.

What I really want, of course, is much of the features of the E-M1X to be added into the mid-sized E-M5 Mark III or better yet, a PEN-F Mark II. Of course, that’s not going to happen. Perhaps, maybe next year, a E-M1 Mark III might incorporate the key features of this year’s E-M1X. Until then, I can keep on dreaming and make up stories, right?


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6 thoughts on “Seduced by the Olympus E-M1X

  1. I ran into the local olympus rep a few weeks ago. He had the e-m1x with the 300/4 lens. He let me handle it and the balance with the lens made it feel lighter than my old em1 & 75-300 zoom! Now to be able to afford them! 😉

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